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Trial ordered for teen in mob attack on motorist

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered a juvenile trial for a 16-year-old Detroit boy charged with assault and ethnic intimidation charges in the brutal beating of a suburban motorist.

Wayne County Judge Jerome Cavanagh denied a defense lawyer's request Thursday to reduce the teenager's $400,000 bond. The trial set for June 23.

The teen is charged in the April 2 beating of 54-year-old Steve Utash on Detroit's east side.

Utash was punched and kicked by several people as he stopped to check on a 10-year-old boy struck when he stepped in front of Utash's pickup truck.

Utash of Macomb County's Clinton Township remains hospitalized with severe head injuries.

Four adults are charged with attempted murder. Defense lawyer Solomon Radner says the boy has "sorry feelings" and the ethnic intimidation charge is unjustified.


Detroit sees more deals ahead in bankruptcy case

DETROIT (AP) - The city of Detroit is optimistic it will make more deals in the next several days to help emerge from bankruptcy.

Attorney Bruce Bennett made the remark during a court hearing Thursday in a week of significant breakthroughs.

The city has the support of pension funds and a retirees' group to reduce payouts to thousands of former Detroit employees. The retirees still must vote, and bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes also must review it in the months ahead.

Another Detroit attorney, David Heiman, told a judge the city believes it's starting the "last stage" of the case.

There are concerns. Union lawyer Sharon Levine wants a guarantee that the state of Michigan will pay $350 million to help soften pension cuts before retirees vote. Lawmakers haven't acted on the money yet.


Detroit bankruptcy judge looks for expert

DETROIT (AP) - A judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy is interviewing experts to advise him in the case, including former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch.

Ravitch is traveling to Detroit on Friday to meet Judge Steven Rhodes. He and other candidates will be interviewed in open court.

The 80-year-old Ravitch has had a long career in public service in New York and has been outspoken about financial risks faced by states and local governments. He tells The Associated Press that many promises "honorably made" no longer can be afforded.

Ravitch says Detroit is the most dramatic example of "what happens when you kick the can down the road." He says he would work on the bankruptcy case for free if picked by the judge.


Snyder turns in signatures for re-election bid

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has made his re-election bid official by turning in more than 26,000 signatures from all 83 counties to election officials.

The Republican governor was joined by his wife, Sue, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and supporters Thursday morning at the secretary of state building in Lansing. Snyder says he's "absolutely fired up" to continue being governor and is proud of his record.

He emphasizes that Michigan's unemployment rate is the lowest in six years and 250,000 private-sector jobs have been created under his watch.

Asked about Democratic opponent Mark Schauer, Snyder calls him a "career politician." Schauer's criticizing Snyder on education funding, individual tax hikes and other issues.

Gubernatorial candidates from political parties must file at least 15,000 valid signatures by Monday to qualify for the ballot.


Dry weather helps Michigan floodwaters recede

EVART, Mich. (AP) - Floodwaters are receding along rivers in Michigan's central and western Lower Peninsula, a trend that should continue with mostly dry weather in the forecast for the next several days.

The most severe problem has been in Osceola County around Evart, where the National Weather Service reports that the Muskegon River remains at major flood stage. It has dropped from a record 15.97 feet to 15.6 feet as of late Thursday morning.

The Muskegon also has dropped from a high of 13.1 feet Tuesday to 11.97 feet Thursday at the Croton Dam about 35 miles north of Grand Rapids, which puts that area at moderate flood stage.

Michigan rivers with minor flooding are the Chippewa below Mount Pleasant, the Pere Marquette at Scottville and the Saginaw River at Saginaw.


Flint plans to start using river water on Monday

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Flint's plans to get drinking water from the Flint River instead of the Detroit water department are expected to become reality on Monday.

The Flint Journal reports Flint's state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley and public works officials announced that they plan to open gates Thursday at the Flint water treatment plant, bringing in about 12 million gallons for test runs.

Representatives with the state Department of Environmental Quality will be on hand Friday.

Under the plan, Flint will stop getting water from Lake Huron that's treated and pumped by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The use of Flint River water is a temporary measure until the Karegnondi Water Authority completes its pipeline in 2016 from Lake Huron.

Officials don't anticipate Flint will see any interrupted water service.


Auto company will expand operations in Michigan

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - An international automotive company is investing $15.3 million to expand its business in Oakland County.

Gov. Rick Snyder says the expansion of Fuyao Automotive North America in Orion Township will create 102 full-time jobs.

The company currently provides assembly and support services for auto manufacturers and plans to add equipment to produce glass assembly parts.

Orion Township will cut property taxes for the project, and the Michigan Business Development Program is set to give a $1 million performance-based grant from the state's Strategic Fund for the company's investment and job creation.

Snyder says Fuyao's expansion "tells global companies that our state holds great opportunities." He first met with company leaders during a 2012 trade trip in Shanghai, China.


Principal bitten; parent charged with assault

DETROIT (AP) - A 34-year-old Detroit man has been charged with aggravated assault in connection with a reported attack on the principal of his child's school.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office says Keron Wilson is expected to be arraigned on the misdemeanor in 36th District Court.

The charge is punishable by up to one year in jail.

The prosecutor's office says 40-year-old Philip Van Hooks reported being bitten on the forearm and punched after telling Wilson on Monday why the child was not allowed on a school field trip. Van Hooks is principal at Cooke Elementary in northwest Detroit.


Lawyer: Emails show college broke open meeting law

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A newspaper says its review of emails it obtained under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act shows that members of the Northwestern Michigan College board violated the state Open Meetings Act when they discussed whether to make video recordings of their meetings.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle says the email shows at least six of seven board members exchanged emails and had other contacts outside of public meetings.

The board voted Jan. 27 to video record its meetings. Board Chairman Douglas Bishop and others had opposed the move in the past.

Michigan Press Association attorney Robin Luce-Herrmann tells the newspaper that the records show "a quorum of the board was deliberating on an issue outside of an open meeting."

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